W - Mills (1-0)
3-0, 0.0 GU
The Express got out to a fast start against Storm Chasers starter Ryan Verdugo, plating seven runs in the game's first three innings.
DH Joey Butler helped lead his club's barrage by going 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, and three runs batted in. Second baseman Yangervis Solarte (1/5, 2B) also added a two-bagger.
Meanwhile, Engel Beltre (2/4, BB), Jurickson Profar (2/4, BB) and Aaron Cunningham (2/5) all singled twice. Beltre and Profar also both stole a base.
Mike Olt's slow start to the season continued, as he went 0-for-4 with three punchouts and a walk.
On the mound, left-hander Brad Mills hurled six innings of two-run (one earned) ball. The changeup specialist scattered five hits and struck out two without issuing a walk.
Making his Triple-A debut, righty reliever Lisalverto Bonilla worked a clean eighth inning, throwing 10 of his 15 pitches for a strike. He struck out one.
L - Wolf (0-1)
1-2, 2.0 GB
There's no doubting that righty Neil Ramirez has fantastic stuff, but his command has held him back over the last two seasons. That was the case on Saturday, as Ramirez gave up two runs on one hit (while striking out six) but walked four batters in 3.2 innings.
Frisco scored three runs while spreading nine hits through the 10 innings on Saturday.
Third baseman Alex Buchholz led the attack, going 2-for-5 with his first double. Middle infielders Guilder Rodriguez (2//5) and Hanser Alberto (2/5) added two singles apiece.
After Ramirez left the game, righty Jake Brigham tossed 2.1 hitless, scoreless innings of relief. He walked two and fanned three.
Relievers Jimmy Reyes (1.2 IP) and Ross Wolf (1.2 IP) both surrendered one run in 1.2 innings. Wolf suffered the blown save and the loss.
W - Payano (1-0)
HR - Odor (2)
2-0, 0.0 GU
Left-hander Victor Payano turned in a dominant performance on Saturday afternoon, hurling 5.1 innings of shutout ball. The tall prospect limited the Blue Rocks to just two singles while walking three and striking out eight.
The Pelicans' bats went just 3-for-18 with runners in scoring position––stranding 10 runners aboard––but they produced plenty to earn the victory.
Second baseman Rougned Odor flashed his pop again on Saturday, going deep for the second consecutive game. Odor was 2-for-5 with a double and a solo home run.
Centerfielder Zach Cone (2/4, 2B) added a single and a two-bagger.
Luis Sardinas (1/4, BB), Trever Adams (1/3, BB), and Chris Grayson (1/3, BB) also reached base multiple times. Grayson stole his second base of the young season.
Myrtle Beach's bullpen finished off Payano's shutout by working 3.2 shutout frames. They came from right-handers Arlett Mavare (0.2 IP), Nick Martinez (2 IP), and Joe Van Meter (1 IP).
L - Claudio (0-1)
HR - Williams (1)
Although the Crawdads jumped on top by scoring five runs in the first two innings, Greensboro came clawing back with a six spot in the top of the sixth inning.
Rangers 2012 second-round pick Nick Williams flashed his pop on Saturday by going 2-for-4 with a double and a three-run homer.
Preston Beck (2/3), Jordan Akins (2/3) and David Lyon (2/3) all singled twice in three at-bats.
Hickory starting pitcher Connor Sadzeck allowed just two balls to leave the infield through five scoreless innings, but he ran into trouble when he went back out for the sixth.
Overall, Sadzeck permitted three runs in 5.1 innings, giving up four hits and walking three. He also struck out three.
Fireballing right-hander Jose Valdespina then came on and failed to retire either of the two hitters he faced. Alexander Claudio allowed both inherited runners to score––plus one of his own––and was saddled with the loss in 1.2 innings.
W - Smith (1-0)
SV - McElwee (1)
HR - Williams (2), Brinson (1)
1-2, 1.0 GB
The Crawdads claimed game two of Saturday's doubleheader behind the pop of toolsy 2012 draft picks Lewis Brinson and Nick Williams.
Williams went deep for the second time in as many games, crushing a solo home run in the first inning. He would also triple in four at-bats.
Brinson, who batted leadoff, socked a two-run shot in the fourth inning. He was 1-for-3 with that homer, those two RBI, and a walk. He also stole his second base.
At the bottom of the Hickory order, middle infielders Luis Marte (2/3) and Luis Mendez (2/3) both singled twice.
Sinkerballing righty John Kukuruda labored his way through three innings, giving up two runs on four hits.
Following Kukuruda, right-handers Tyler Smith (3 IP) and Josh McElwee (1 IP) slammed the door by combining for four scoreless frames. Smith tossed three innings of one-hit ball, walking one and fanning three.
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